Skegness schools out for extra week's holiday

Skegness Grammar School is one of eight academies which will enjoy an extra  week's holiday in October.Skegness Grammar School is one of eight academies which will enjoy an extra  week's holiday in October.
Skegness Grammar School is one of eight academies which will enjoy an extra week's holiday in October. | jpimedia
Eight Skegness academies will have a two-week October half-term as a result of revised term dates aimed at reducing unauthorised absences and supporting parents unable to take summer holidays because they work in the local tourism industry.

The decision, made by the sponsored by Greenwood Academies Trust and David Ross Education Trust following a consultation and in line with the freedoms academy trusts , will extend the October half-term break to two weeks across the last week in October and the first week in November.

Families at Beacon Primary Academy, Ingoldmells Academy, Seathorne Primary Academy, Skegness Academy, Skegness Infant Academy and Skegness Junior Academy (all sponsored by Greenwood Academies Trust), and Hogsthorpe Primary Academy and Skegness Grammar School (sponsored by David Ross Education Trust) will all benefit from the new arrangements.

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The Richmond School in Skegness has also joined the academies led by the Greenwood Trust and DRET in offering the extra holiday.

The change, which comes in from this October, means that families and staff will be able to take advantage of more affordable holiday rates during early November when most schools around the country are back in school.

As a coastal community, many families have their work and income tied to seasonal tourism. This means they are often unable to take time off during school holidays. As a result, some families take holidays during term-time, leading to absences which mean pupils miss important time in school.

A longer October/November half-term widens opportunity for family holidays and will help improve pupils’ attendance rates, academic attainment and their overall educational experience.

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Zoe Findlater, a parent with children in both Skegness Infant Academy and Skegness Junior Academy said,

“This is really positive news for everybody and provides us with the chance to book an affordable holiday, giving us much needed family time together. It also helps because that’s the time of year that cold and flu season starts, so this gives everyone a bit of a break and hopefully miss less school.”

Wayne Norrie, Chief Executive Officer, Greenwood Academies Trust, said:

“As a Trust we are committed to supporting the needs of our families and the local community, and are proud to announce new term dates that accommodate parents’ seasonal work patterns and will improve pupils’ attendance and empower them to fulfil their potential.

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“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our parents, pupils, staff and the wider community for their support during this consultation, as well as the David Ross Education Trust for their valued partnership throughout this process.”

Rowena Hackwood, Chief Executive Officer, David Ross Education Trust, said:

“At DRET, we want to make sure that every child gets the world-class education they are entitled to, irrespective of background and family circumstance. Every school and community has its own distinctive needs, and this important step will help improve attendance so that Skegness children do not miss out.

“Skegness families send their children to a whole range of schools that span different academy trusts, and so it’s been really important to us to work closely with Greenwood Academies Trust to introduce common term dates across all of our schools. We look forward to seeing the positive impact that this change has on the local community as a whole.”

Lee Roberts, Project Coordinator, Visit Lincs Coast, said:

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"The tourism industry is essential to life in Skegness, and we know so many people who work within it end up missing out on their own summer holidays. This is an excellent and innovative initiative by Greenwood Academies Trust to support local families and the tourist trade here and we are very pleased to hear that they will soon have the opportunity to take advantage of an additional holiday outside term time and the usual school holidays which fall during peak tourism season."

The new term dates will come into effect from September 2020 and follow a consultation period with parents/carers, local schools, trade unions and Lincolnshire County Council.

Full details regarding the new term dates are available on the academies’ websites.

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